:: [Bricolabs] Where we at?
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Author: Felipe Fonseca
To: Bricolabs
New-Topics: Re: [Bricolabs] Where we at? and info on BarnCamp (uk)
Subject: [Bricolabs] Where we at?
My turn then...

As most in the list are boringly aware, I live in Ubatuba since 2008.
Most of this time I spent talking to people, coming up with ideas,
putting them in practice, seeing what happens. There was the last (more
or less "official") meeting of the MetaReciclagem network; the four
editions of Tropixel; one research-action project on open and
collaborative science; maybe hundreds of meetups, workshops and
discussions. We organized UbaLab (fluid experimental
space/articulation); ninho (collaborative working environment);
inc.ubalab and ninhada (collaborative incubators); and a lot lot more. I
have worked with rural and traditional communities (indigenous,
quilombolas, caiçaras). I represented "digital and urban culture" in the
municipal board of public policies for culture for four years. I even
wrote legislation (pretty interesting sort of code, but in the end of
the process it was not approved). And yeah JNM, I set up a conversation
website not paying that much attention to google spyware, will look into
it when there is time.

Meanwhile, the macro scenario has been evolving fast in the wrong
direction. Five years ago, even the pessimist among us couldn't see
(all) that shit coming.

From my personal perspective, it had another side to it. I've always
done a lot more than I had resources to. Up until some years ago, I was
still able to use about 70% of my time doing things that would not give
me any money. I would compensate that by getting extra funding somewhere
else, and of course by living in a city much more affordable than São
Paulo, Rio or Brasília. So in a sense, and again responding to JNM's
irony towards Jaromil, I would get money from research agencies,
cultural institutions and the occasional international body and invested
it around here: in my own "free" time to work with different communities
for instance; or hiring people to help with stuff; also buying equipment
to be used collectively; or paying a higher share in the rent and bills
of our collective space. That's one aspect of "abundance" as I see -
leveraging opportunities to respond to unbalances. I wasn't thinking
decroissance, but instead using my own network of institutional contacts
to bring money into a place otherwise very dependent on cheap mass tourism.

Well, with the increasing political and economic turmoil, things started
to dry out. A lot of interesting people started to move out of Ubatuba,
as there was no way to fund "creative" and "intellectuall" work anymore
due to the lack of funding. A couple years ago I spent about six months
making little to no money, and accumulating personal debt. In order to
remain here while things didn't get better, I accepted a "job" in a
private tech business from abroad (had managed to stay away from
for-profits for about 15 years before that). And while I do like the
product and have been learning a lot with them, it's far from fulfilling
me as a whole.

Early this year, I found about a PhD programme on "open design of
trusted things", organized by the University of Dundee in Scotland and
the Mozilla Foundation. I applied, and was finally offered the position
to work with the topic "smart cities". That's why the mini tropixel next
month will be a sort of goodbye to Ubatuba and Brazil, before I move
abroad to a colder place with my partner and two kids (aged 8 and 4).

In any case, it's not a bad idea to reactivate this list. I hope to meet
everyone again in the coming years...

Heh, sorry for the long letter. Haven't sent one of those in years, I guess.

efeefe, still in Ubatuba